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Choosing the right XK model for you

 

We have set out illustrations, specifications and ‘pros & cons’ of each of the three XKs models.We hope you find these informative and useful. Please feel free to call Paul Abadjian on Tel: 01300 321199 to discuss your particular requirements in greater depth. Set out below are the specifications, descriptions and pros and cons.of the individual models of the Jaguar XK ranges.

 

Jaguar XK120

The original and 'purest' of the XK range. Designed in 1948 as a limited-edition model to showcase the new and ground-breaking XK engine, the first cars (242) were all constructed using aluminium body panels largely hand-formed over a steel bulkhead, with ash-framing to the rear, using traditional coach-building methods. These cars all had the 'roadster' or, more correctly 'open two seater' (OTS) body style, and all left the factory with steel wheels and spats over the rear wheels. The OTS conceals its hood under the leading edge of the rear tonneau panel, behind the seats, and the car has sidescreens rather than wind-up windows. The alloy cars were then supplanted by externally virtually identical steel -bodied XK120s in 1950, and the more luxurious and supremely elegant XK120 fixed head (FHC) was added to the range in 1951. Finally the similarly-appointed but convertible XK 120 drophead coupe(DHC) was introduced in April 1953.

 

Pros: Original and purest XK. Elegant styling across all three models, with superb restrained detailing such as minimalist bumpers and grille. The purists choice.120 fixed head often felt to be the best-looking XK of all.

 

Cons: Awkward vintage style driving position takes acclimatisation. Impossible for 6‘+ drivers. Brakes can be marginal if not adjusted well. Steering box not as communicative as later models rack & pinion, although 120 has excellent lock for manoeuvrability . Cooling not adequate in standard form for modern traffic conditions-requires fitting of additional electric fan.

 

 

XK 120 Open Two-Seater (aluminium body)

September 1948 – April 1950

XK120otsali

  • Engine capacity: 3,442cc.
  • Bhp: 160 at 5000rpm (180bhp at 5,300rpm Special Equipment).
  • Length: 14ft 6in;
  • Width: 5ft 1 1/2 in;
  • Height: 4ft 4 1/2 in.
  • Weight: 25cwt.
  • Max. speed: 120mph approx; 0–60mph: 10secs.

Distinguishing features: appearance essentially as early steel-bodied XK 120 except for larger windscreen side pillar grommets. Removable windscreen. Wire wheels not offered. Drum brakes. Chassis Nos. commence/numbers built: 670001 LHD (184), 660001 RHD (58).

 

 

XK 120 Open Two-Seater (steel body)

April 1950 – September 1954

XK120otssteel

  • Engine capacity: 3,442cc.
  • Bhp: 160 at 5000rpm (180bhp at 5,300rpm Special Equipment).
  • Length: 14ft 6in;
  • Width: 5ft 1 1/2 in;
  • Height: 4ft 4 1/2 in.
  • Weight: 26cwt.
  • Max. speed: 120mph approx; 0–60mph: 10secs (standard).

Distinguishing features: appearance essentially as early alloy-bodied XK 120 except for smaller windscreen side pillar grommets. Wire wheels offered with Special Equipment package from mid-1951. Drum brakes. Footwell ventilators added November 1951, integral (painted) front sidelight housings from October 1952. Chassis Nos. commence/numbers built: 670185 LHD (6,253), 660059 RHD (1,117).

 

 

XK 120 Fixedhead Coupe

March 1951 – September 1954.

XK120fhc

  • Engine capacity: 3,442cc.
  • Bhp: 160 at 5000rpm (180bhp at 5,300rpm Special Equipment).
  • Length: 14ft 6in;
  • Width: 5ft 1 1/2 in;
  • Height: 4ft 5 1/2 in.
  • Weight: 27cwt.
  • Max. speed: 120mph approx; 0–60mph: 10secs (standard).

Distinguishing features: Grille/front wings as for open two-seater; integral steel roof, wind-up windows, opening front and rear quarterlights, exterior door handles. Drum brakes. Wire wheels offered with Special Equipment package. Chassis Nos. commence/numbers built: 679001 LHD (2,484), 669001 RHD (194).

 

 

XK 120 Drophead Coupe

April 1953 – September 1954

XK120dhc

  • Engine capacity: 3,442cc.
  • Bhp: 160 at 5000rpm (180bhp at 5,300rpm Special Equipment).
  • Length: 14ft 6in;
  • Width: 5ft 1 1/2 in;
  • Height: 4ft 5in.
  • Weight: 27 1/2 cwt.
  • Max. speed: 119mph approx; 0–60mph: 11secs (standard).

Distinguishing features: Grille/front wings as for open two-seater; integral windscreen pillars, wind-up windows, opening front and rear quarterlights, exterior door handles, fully lined top. Drum brakes. Wire wheels offered with Special Equipment package. Chassis Nos. commence/numbers built: 667001 LHD (2,484), 677001 RHD (294).

 

 

Jaguar XK140

Direct update of the XK120, with bulkhead moved forward by 4" (OTS/DHC) and 6" approx.(FHC) to give more internal room. Bumpers and cast grille much more substantial than 120. More efficient cooling system, rack and pinion steering and overdrive option improved driveability. C-Type head option gave welcome performance improvement. All three body styles available from the outset (October 1954).

 

Pros: Worthwhile mechanical and body improvements bring greater usability to the XK range. Added space particularly useful in drophead and fixedhead models.

 

Cons: Many feel that the heavier bumpers, cast grille, and added chrome a retrograde step aesthetically. Proportions of 140 fixedhead in particular lost the elegance of 120 predecessor.

 

 

XK 140 Open Two-Seater

October 1954 – February 1957

xk140ots

  • Engine capacity: 3,442cc.
  • Bhp: 190 at 5,500rpm (210bhp at 5300 rpm 'C' type head).
  • Length: 14ft 8in;
  • Width: 5ft 4 1/2 in;
  • Height: 4ft 7in.
  • Weight: 29cwt.
  • Max. speed: 130mph approx; 0–60mph: 9secs ('C' type head, overdrive).

Distinguishing features: Grille now eight-bar cast alloy, bumpers now full-width front with over-riders; direction indicators in lower front ring; detachable windscreen assembly; sidescreens; cockpit roomier due to engine being moved forward; rack and pinion steering replaces recirculating ball; telescopic dampers replace lever-arm on rear axle. Wire wheels offered with Special Equipment package ('C' head additional option). Chassis Nos. commence/numbers built: 817001 LHD (2,310), 807001 RHD (479).

 

 

XK 140 Drophead Coupe

October 1954 – February 1957

xk140dhc

  • Engine capacity: 3,442cc.
  • Bhp: 190 at 5,500rpm (210bhp at 5300 rpm 'C' type head).
  • Length: 14ft 8in;
  • Width: 5ft 4 1/2 in;
  • Height: 4ft 7in.
  • Weight: 29cwt.
  • Max. speed: 125mph approx; 0–60mph: 11.5secs ('C' type head, overdrive).

Distinguishing features: Grille/front wings as for open two-seater; integral windscreen pillars, wind-up windows, exterior door handles, fully lined top, occasional rear seats. Mechanical changes as for open two-seater. Drum brakes. Wire wheels offered with Special Equipment package ('C' head additional option). Automatic transmission offered from October 1956. Chassis Nos. commence/numbers built: 817001 LHD (2,310), 807001 RHD (479).

 

 

XK 140 Fixedhead Coupe

October 1954 – February 1957

xk140fhx

  • Engine capacity: 3,442cc.
  • Bhp: 190 at 5,500rpm (210bhp at 5300 rpm 'C' type head).
  • Length: 14ft 8in;
  • Width: 5ft 4 1/2 in;
  • Height: 4ft 7in.
  • Weight: 29cwt.
  • Max. speed: 129mph approx; 0–60mph: 10secs ('C' type head, overdrive).

Distinguishing features: Grille/front wings as for open two-seater; integral steel roof, wind-up windows, exterior door handles, occasional rear seats. Mechanical changes as for open two-seater. Drum brakes. Wire wheels offered with Special Equipment package ('C' head additional option). Automatic transmission offered from October 1956. Chassis Nos. commence/numbers built: 814001 LHD (1,965), 804001 RHD (843).

 

 

Jaguar XK150

Introduced in May 1957(FHC/DHC) and March 1958(OTS), the 150 represented a more substantial change over the 140 than that model had shown over the 120. The body was about 4" wider, but mounted on much the same chassis, and with slimmer doors and a ‘straighter’ wingline. The XK150 offered much more internal width than the 140. The greater space around the engine improved both accessibility and cooling. The 150 was a pioneer in the use of disc brakes all ‘round. All models now had wind-up windows.

 

Pros: Increased internal space particularly useful in DHC & FHC models, allowing two small children or one adult to sit behind driver and passenger. Improved cooling and disc brakes enhance driveability. Useful added performance of the 3 carburettor ‘S’ models.

 

Cons: Wider body sometimes makes the 150 look a little ‘top heavy‘. Lack of walnut veneer in FHC and DHC models often disliked by modern buyer. The 150 tends to be viewed more as a touring car rather than a sports car by the purist.

 

 

XK 150 Open Two-Seater March 1958 – October 1960

XK150ots

  • Engine capacity: 3,442cc.
  • Bhp: 190 at 5,500rpm (210bhp at 5,500rpm Special Equipment, 250bhp at 5,500rpm ‘S’ option); 3781cc engine optional from October 1959 (220bhp at 5,500rpm, 265bhp at 5,500rpm ‘S’ option)
  • Length: 14ft 9in;
  • Width: 5ft 41/2 in;
  • Height: 4ft 6in.
  • Weight: 28cwt.
  • Max. speed: 136mph approx.; 0–60mph: 7.3sec (3.4 four speed).

Distinguishing features: Grille now wide thin-slatted with depression in bumper underneath. Higher wingline front to rear. Non-detachable full-width windscreen, wind-up windows in chrome surround, exterior door handles, wider cockpit due thinner doors, leather/vinyl fascia (all models). LHD models revised April 1959 (see FHC); RHD carried revised equipment from commencement. Disc brakes. Wire wheels offered with Special Equipment package. Overdrive or automatic gearbox optional (‘S’ models all overdrive). Chassis Nos. commence/numbers built (all versions) :817001 LHD (2,310), 807001 RHD (479)

 

 

XK 150 Fixedhead Coupe (early) May 1957 – April 1959

XK150fhc

  • Engine capacity: 3,442cc.
  • Bhp: 190 at 5,500rpm (210bhp at 5,500rpm Special Equipment, 250bhp at 5,500rpm ‘S’ option).
  • Length: 14ft 9in;
  • Width: 5ft 41/2 in;
  • Height: 4ft 7in.
  • Weight: 29cwt.
  • Max. speed: 125mph approx.; 0–60mph: 9.5sec (3.4 standard).

Distinguishing features: As for open two-seater except for occasional rear seats and integral steel roof. Small rear single lens lamps, rear over-riders in line with lamps. Disc brakes. Wire wheels offered with Special Equipment package. Overdrive or automatic gearbox optional (‘S’ models all overdrive). Chassis Nos. commence:817001 LHD, 807001 RHD.

 

 

XK 150 Fixedhead Coupe (late) April 1959 – October 1961

XK150fhclate

  • Engine capacity: 3,442cc. Bhp: 190 at 5,500rpm (210bhp at 5,500rpm Special Equipment, 250bhp at 5,500rpm ‘S’ option). 3,781cc engine optional from October 1959 (220bhp at 5,500rpm ‘S’ option).
  • Length: 14ft 9in;
  • Width: 5ft 4 1/2 in;
  • Height: 4ft 7in.
  • Weight: 29cwt. Max. speed: 125mph approx; 0–60mph: 9.5sec (3.4 standard).

Distinguishing features: As for open two-seater except for occasional rear seats and integral steel roof. Larger rear lamp with amber (home market) indicator, rear over-riders inboard of lamps. Disc brakes. Wire wheels offered with Special Equipment package. Overdrive or automatic gearbox optional (‘S’ models all overdrive). Numbers built (all versions): LHD (3,094), RHD (1,368).

 

 

XK 150 Drophead Coupe May 1957 – October 1960

XK150dhc

  • Engine capacity: 3,442cc. Bhp: 190 at 5,500rpm (210bhp at 5,500rpm Special Equipment, 250bhp at 5,500rpm ‘S’ option). 3,781cc engine optional from October 1959 (220bhp at 5,500rpm, 265bhp at 5,500rpm ‘S’ option).
  • Length: 14ft 9in;
  • Width: 5ft 4 1/2 in;
  • Height: 4ft 7in.
  • Weight: 29 1/2 cwt. Max. speed: 129mph approx; 0–60mph: 8.0sec (3.4s overdrive).

Distinguishing features: As for open two-seater except for occasional rear seats and fully-lined top. Revised April 1959 (see FHC). Disc brakes. Wire wheels offered with Special Equipment package. Overdrive or automatic gearbox optional (‘S’ models all overdrive). Chassis Nos. commence/numbers built (all versions: 837001 LHD (2,009), 827001 RHD (662).

Finding spares for your XK 

The Jaguar XK range is very well served by a network of specialists who can supply virtually anything for the cars, from the smallest component to a complete body. The majority of these parts have been re-made to as close to the original specification as is possible. Occasionally they will also be able to supply ‘new old stock’ components, made in the ’50s and ’60s by the original suppliers, that have remained on the shelf since that time. Alternatively re-furbished original parts may sometimes be supplied.

 

 

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